SENSEI VELIBOR DIMITRIJEVIC
Sensei Velibor Vebo Dimitrijevic, was one of the closest assistants to the late Taiji Kase Sensei. Born in 1953, he has degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as leading engineering designer for over ten years before devoting himself to practice of Budo karate in 1988. He begun practice in 1969. He was examined for all his Dan grades by Taiji Kase and for his 6th Dan received sensei’s personal certificate.
From 1974–1987, Sensei Dimitrijevic, was a member of the national team of Former Yugoslavia taking part in 3 World, 11 European Championships and 2 World Cups, winning a total of 15 medals. In 1981 and 1982 he was a two-time European kata champion, while taking second place three times in 1979, 1983 and 1984, as well as twice third place in 1977 and 1978. As a member of the kumite team, Sensei Dimitrijevic won two silver medals in 1979 and 1982, and two bronze medals in 1981 and 1986 as a member of kata team. During the World Championships in 1980 and 1986, Sensei Dimitrijevic, won two bronze medals with the national kata team, while being individually ranked in 5th and 7th position.
In former Yugoslavia he won 22 medals. He was eight times the kata champion and took second place four times in the same category. In his personal weight category, kumite, he was a two-time champion and took second place twice. Furthermore, in the open category kumite he took second place once and twice third. In his native Serbia he was Champion in the open category kumite, and more than 10 times kata champion consecutively.
The successful sports career did not affect his determination to achieve higher goals than medals. Sensei Dimitrijevic considers an athletic career an unavoidable step towards the exploration and search of the real essence of KarateDo. The ultimate goal should be reaching a level beyond technique and physical power.
At the time when Sensei Dimitrijevic began to practice karate, Shihan Taiji Kase was the Technical Advisor of the Karate Association of Yugoslavia. It was his personal choice to select Sensei Dimitrijevic in the national kumite team to debut in the 1974 European Championship in London. Sensei Dimitrijevic was also greatly influenced by the creation of a specific karate attitude and technical development by one of Kase Sensei’s assistants, Sensei Takashi Tokuhisa. At the time, Sensei Takashi Tokuhisa was probably the most technically advanced young Japanese instructor in Europe, following the traditional shotokan karate.
In 1988, Sensei Dimitrijevic went to Greece. His contact and friendship with Mr. Alkis Panayotopoulos, the director of the private school, “I.M. Panagiotopoulos” in Athens, proved that both men shared an almost identical karate approach, leading to a mutual understanding of the martial art. The next step was the establishment of the Shotokan Karate Club “Ippon” within the Athletic Association of the Panagiotopoulous School.
In 1991 Sensei Dimitrijevic became a member of the World Karate-Do Shotokan Academy. A number of seminars throughout Europe followed, leading to the acknowledgment of Sensei Dimitrijevic’s extraordinary qualities by Sensei Kase and appointing him as one of his assistants. It seemed that it was destiny that had reunited them after so many years. And it was in fact this crucial contact with Kase Sensei, which led Sensei Dimitrijevic to adopt Budo karate as his life’s philosophy. Today the following may sound like an anecdote but after one of the first seminars in 1992 Sensei Kase told his assistant Sensei Dimitrijevic:
“You were champion, you have excellent technique and exceptional kime, now it is time for you to start practicing karate”.
Sensei Dimitrijevic was almost forty years old at the time.
Following his instincts and fascination with Kase’s Budo approach, Sensei Dimitrijevic could not resist the challenge. He began a new circle of his karate way, this time searching for qualities beyond medals, technique and physical power. Since then, he has been devoted to the idea and the concept of Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu Karate-Do.
After Kase sensei’s death in 2004 he was a founder and leading instructor of the Instructors Academy which aimed to preserve the ideas and teachings of Kase sensei. However within a decade the direction diverged from those ideals and from 2016 sensei Dimitrijevic continued his Way, followed and supported by a number of senseis, senior instructors and karateka from many countries.
After 50 years of practice he managed to create a distinctive training system leading to the development of all fundamental Budo principles, while preserving the authentic teaching and the spirit of Taiji Kase sensei. His Vebodo system incorporates all aspects of the Kase sensei’s unique style, while his methodical and analytic approach to teaching of Ibuki breathing, rooting and mind control lead to a better understanding of the Ki phenomenon, which is the ultimate aim of the Kase Ha style.
In 2014 sensei Dimitrijevic released the DVD “The Invisible Power” in which he explained and demonstrated the major aspects of his teaching system. In 2016 he produced a memorial DVD “The Secrets of the Kase Ha Karate-Do”, a selection of extracts from courses with Kase sensei. In 2017 he published the book “Kase Ha Karate-Do - The Way Beyond”, in which the Budo background and principles the Kase Ha style were analyzed and explained in detail.
I. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. 3rd place in Kata Team Bremen 1980
2. 3rd place in Kata Team Sydney 1986
3. 5th place in Kata Team Cairo 1983
4. 5th place in Kata Individual Bremen 1980
5. 7th place in Kata Individual Cairo 1983
II. EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. 1st place in Kata Individual Manchester 1981
2. 1st place in Kata Individual Zurich 1982
3. 2nd place in Kata Individual Brussels 1979
4. 2nd place in Kata Individual Munchen 1983
5. 2nd place in Kata Individual Dublin 1984
6. 2nd place in Kumite Team Brussels 1979
7. 2nd place in Kumite Team Zurich 1982
8. 2nd place in Kata Team Zurich 1982
9. 2nd place in Kata Team Dublin 1984
10. 3rd place in Kata Individual Essen 1977
11. 3rd place in Kata Individual Belgrade 1978
12. 3rd place in Kata Team Manchester 1981
13. 3rd place in Kata Team Madrid 1986
III. YUGOSLAVIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. 1st place in Kumite Light middle category 1985
2. 1st place in Kumite Middle weight category 1986
3. 1st place in Kata Individual 1975
4. 1st place in Kata Individual 1977
5. 1st place in Kata Individual 1979
6. 1st place in Kata Individual 1981
7. 1st place in Kata Individual 1982
8. 1st place in Kata Individual 1983
9. 1st place in Kata Individual 1984
10. 1st place in Kata Individual 1985
11. 2st place in Kata Individual 1976
12. 2st place in Kata Individual 1978
13. 2st place in Kata Individual 1980
14. 2st place in Kata Individual 1987
15. 2nd place in Kumite Middle category 1975
16. 2nd place in Kumite Middle category 1979
17. 2nd place in Kumite Open category 1979
18. 3rd place in Kumite Open category 1975
19. 3rd place in Kumite Open category 1976
20. 3rd place in Kumite Middle category 1980
21. 3rd place in Kata Team 1975
22. 3rd place in Kata Team 1985
IV. SERBIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sensei Velibor Dimitrijevic was Champion and Vice Champion in Open category Kumite, several times in his Middleweight category Kumite and more then 10 times consecutively Kata Champion in Serbia.